Out of Africa Redux

Bono and Ali Hewson, his wife, wants to revitalize apparel manufacturing in sub-Saharan Africa by manufacturing the clothes from their brand in China and Peru.

Ali Hewson and Bono in the campaign for Louis Vuitton.

Every Journey Began in Africa“. Oh, really? Checking in from that mythical magical place known as “Africa” (or, as Women’s Wear Daily reports, an “arid South African vista”) are Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, founders of the fashion brand, Edun, for which they shot this campaign. The campaign is part of a push to relaunch the brand, which Bono and Hewson founded in 2005 with, as the Wall Street Journal reports, “the lofty mission of revitalizing apparel manufacturing in sub-Saharan Africa.” Trade, not aid. That’s what “the Africans” tell Bono, anyway.

Which would be all well and good, except for the fact that, as WSJ revealed, Edun (the video is on Louis Vuitton’s Youtube channel) produces mainly in China and, to a lesser extent, in Peru. To be fair, as the article points out, that partly has to do with the fact that Edun ran up against the “limitations of African manufacturing” during its early years. Of course, where exactly in Africa such manufacturing was taking place, as well as why Edun was unprepared for such obstacles and what the brand plans to do about this in the future remains unclear.* But that’s Bono. According to Hewson, he is “unencumbered by practicalities.”

What are practicalities, after all, when it comes to saving helping Africa?

  • We hope trade unions, labor laws and export tariffs had nothing to do with it.

Further Reading

Stop selling out

Ugandan activist and politician Dr. Stella Nyanzi challenges a new generation of women to take up the struggle for political freedoms and revolution.

Soft targets

What was behind the assassinations in the 1980s of two key anti-apartheid figures: Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, and senior ANC official, Dulcie September?